I’m one of those people that experiences personal development as punctuated equilibrium: I process a flurry of life developments that seem to come at once, ponder them for awhile, make changes in my path, then sit with those changes in life-stasis until the next flurry appears. The movement is always forward, usually humbling, and sometimes scary. But I always benefit from life’s challenges, and learn from them, and every day brings me closer to the core of who I am and the life that makes me happiest.
The past six months has been a period of intense punctuation. It was a perfect storm of meetings, circumstances, disappointments, reflections, and realizations. The culmination included selling my house in Colorado (it sold in four days, full price, cash), and finding a wonderful home in Santa Fe, New Mexico much more quickly than I anticipated. I’ve been in my new home for only four months, but my life has been richer and happier and more at-ease than at any other time in my life. And the core of this change has been the external expression of my internal creative self.
The physical manifestation is that, for the first time in my life, I have a studio. And that studio is in New Mexico, a place that resonates with my deepest self. This is a space where the emotional, artistic, and creative parts of myself, long hidden, can come out and live! I am the first to say that I am very, very fortunate in this and not a day goes by that I am not both grateful and thankful to be here and for my developing life, both on the cusp of wonderful things. Circumstance and fearless choice have put my life on a solid path towards horzo, the Navajo concept of being at harmony and in-tune. It is when we live our true selves in harmony with what is around us that we experience horzo.
When I am in my studio, creating a piece of fiber art or writing as I am now, I feel horzo within me. I can see the mountains, hear the birds, and see the flickering sunlight through the dancing leaves of the trees that hover around my studio windows. At night I can hear the coyotes singing, and see the stars in the dark evening sky. On very dark nights, I can see the Milky Way, and it is truly a magical thing. At midday as I work or take an afternoon walk, I am amazed at the clouds as they form over the mountains, pushing up pillows of white, blue, purple, and yellow. Every evening I watch the sun set while perched on my westward-facing window seat. Nature is my main inspiration, and I am most at peace when I am within her, or creating reflections of her.
Amidst all of this beauty, how could I not make the most of the studio space that I have? The studio is 10 feet by 18 feet, and within this space I have a large loom, a station for photographs, storage for my fiber, a desk, shelving, and a folding table for projects. In this space I weave textiles, felt wearable art, make homemade soaps from sustainable ingredients, and develop paintings using a combination of beeswax, resin, and fiber. In the winter time I will share this space with many plants that are currently housed outside, and we will be crowded together, and the plants will provide inspiration of their own when snow flies.
In truth, many times I am overcome with emotion at how very lucky I am to have this space in which to create and give voice to the colors inside me and around me, and I find myself rushing to make up for what feels like lost time. Then I make myself a cup of tea, sit with my dog, and remind myself that it is important to sit quietly, and listen, and feel. It is during these times of quietness that balance comes and with it a new flush of inspiration.